Gernot and Heike Heinrich established their winery in 1990 with just one hectare and steadily grew it to 90 hectares today. Heinrich converted to biodynamics in 2006 and is a member of Respekt, a certifying body for biodynamic viticulture in Austria. Heinrich is today one of Austria’s most innovative wine producers.
All of Heinrich’s wines are fermented spontaneously and often stay in contact with the skins for several weeks. The wines remain on their lees for an extended period and are vinified mainly in neutral oak casks. Gernot says, "we give the wines plenty of time to mature, the time that hardly anyone has today,” and adds, “it is above all else time that shapes our wines.”
Chardonnay Leithaberg DAC is from the limestone, sandstone, and mica-schist soils of the Leithaberg hill, an east-facing slope on the northwest side of Lake Neusiedl. The grapes were hand-harvested and left for some hours on the skins before fermentation with wild yeasts, and then aged on its lees in large oak casks for 21 months.
The well-drained schist and limestone soils of the Leithaberg hill give a distinctively mineral Chardonnay with lemon, yellow apple, and chalky undertones. The wine has a creamy texture and an attractive smoky note thanks to 21 months aging on its lees in large oak casks and used 500-liter barrels.
Chardonnay cultivated in the Leithaberg’s limestone, and schist soils give a wine that is fresh and highly mineral making it an ideal companion to grilled fish, starches such as polenta or risotto, and dishes sauced with butter or cream. This wine has enough acidity to compliment simple preparations of white fish or even raw shellfish.